Journey to Babel (Star Trek TOS): the Almost Civil War

In Journey to Babel we again see the equivalency of life and energy.

In this episode the Enterprise is tasked with the mission to deliver ambassadors from several different planets to a conference on the planet, Babel to debate the admission of the Coridan system of planets into The Federation. The system happens to be rich in dilithium and has few defenses and an entrance into The Federation will provide Coridan with protection from those whom would seek to take advantage of the planets. The thought of the future protection of Coridan gives some of the delegates pause about voting to admit the system to The Federation since it would make it harder for them to manipulate the planets into giving them the dilithium they desire.

For example, the Tellarite ambassador, Gav, demands to know position of the Vulcan ambassador Sarek because Sarek’s opinion holds a lot of weight with many of the delegates:

Sarek: Under Federation law Coridan can be protected and its wealth administered for the benefit of its people.

Gav: That’s well for you. Vulcan has no mining interest.

Sarek: Coridan has nearly unlimited wealth of dithlithium crystals, but it is underpopulated and unprotected. This invites illegal mining operations.

Gav: Illegal? You accuse us?

Sarek: Some of your ships have been carrying Coridan dilithium crystals.

Gav shouts: “you call us thieves?” and attacks Sarek. Captain Kirk quickly rushes in and breaks up their fight.

The Enterprise crew eventually discovers a plot to start a civil war within The Federation by murdering both Gav and Kirk and severely damaging the Enterprise and therefore many of the delegates on board. Kirk realizes that his attacker and the ship attacking the Enterprise must be from Orion. Orion smugglers have been raiding Coridan for dilithium and would “clean up” by selling the dilithium to both sides in a Federation civil war. The Orion smugglers are willing to murder countless people by starting a civil war all for the profit that can be made by selling energy resources, thus equating life and energy.

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